Adoption Directory

If you have been separated from a relative through adoption and would like to receive an intermediary service, please complete our expression of interest form, which will help Family Action to identify which services you can access through our PAC-UK service and other providers.

On this page we collect a range of resources you may find useful when commencing a search for records, or trying to make a connection with a family member as a birth parent or relative. Please note, the content on this page of the website is the same for both Adopted and Birth Parents personas and will be updated and expanded.

Family Action is not responsible for the content of external websites and the inclusion of a link to an external website from this directory should not be understood to be an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services).

Adoption Contact Registers
General Register Offices/Ordering Certificates
Government Agencies
Organisations offering support and advice
Registered Intermediary Providers
Voluntary Adoption Agencies
Voluntary Adoption Agencies in Scotland
Voluntary Adoption Agencies in Wales
Regional Adoption Agencies
Other Support Available
Family Research
Tracing Services
Directory Services
Community Groups
Books – Adoption (overview)
Books – Personal Stories
Books – Personal Stories (adopted adults)
Books – Personal stories (adopted children & young people)
Books – Personal Stories (birth mothers)
Books – Research Study
Books – Search and Reunion

Adoption Contact Registers

Adoption Contact Register (England and Wales)

Government register aiming to allow family members to state their wish to connect with a birth relative or adopted person, or state a preference not to be contacted.

Adoption Contact Register for Scotland – Birthlink

Scotland’s Adoption Contact Register is managed by the charity Birthlink
0131 225 6441

Adoption Contact Register for Northern Ireland

This page contains instructions for registering with the Northern Ireland adoption contact register

General Register Offices/Ordering Certificates

General Registrar Office for England and Wales

Government Office holding copies of all registrations for England and Wales, including births, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths.

Government Agencies

“Find My Local Council” search pages

Government site allowing you to see which local council and district council corresponds to a given postcode.

NHS Medical Records Website

Website detailing how to request your medical records.


Ofsted regulate intermediary services provided by adoption support agencies, as well as care homes.
0300 123 1231

Search Probate Records

Government site allowing you to find a probate record, also known as a ‘grant of representation’, for someone who died after 1857. Probate gives someone the legal right to deal with a deceased person’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’).

Organisations offering support and advice

The list below includes Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Adoption Support Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies and other agencies offering support to adopted adults.

If you your adoption was arranged by a Voluntary Adoption Agency, and you know the name of the agency then the list below will give you their contact details so that you may contact them directly.

You can also contact the adoption team in the local authority where you live for information and advice regarding finding a service and support.

Registered Intermediary Providers

If you have been separated from a relative through adoption and would like to receive an intermediary service, please complete our expression of interest form, which will help Family Action to identify which services you can access through our PAC-UK service and other providers.

PAC-UK (Part of Family Action)

PAC-UK, who joined Family Action in 2018, is the country’s largest independent Adoption Support Agency. PAC-UK provide a wide range of specialist services including tracing*, intermediary services, birth records counselling, therapeutic support, support groups and training. PAC-UK were rated as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas following their most recent Ofsted inspection in December 2022.

Email or
Advice Line 0300 1800 090 or FamilyConnect Advice Line 0300 1800 205
Office 0300 1800 085

*PAC-UK now manages the NORCAP Adoption Contact Register which contains over 62,000 entries. The majority relate to adoptions between the 1920s and 2004. This means that we can check for links on behalf of adopted adults and their relatives and take registrations from new applicants.  For information or applications please contact

If you think it was possible that your birth relatives may have registered before 2013 you can also contact PAC-UK and ask us to search the register.

Adopted Adults

PAC-UK’s specialist counselling service provides support for adults adopted as children, and for adults otherwise permanently placed as children. PAC-UK also offer access to adoption records, searching and intermediary services.

Birth Parents & Relatives

PAC-UK’s specialist birth parent and relative support services include our First Family Service, face-to-face and telephone counselling, private intermediary services (for birth relatives of adults adopted as children) and support groups.

Father Hudson’s Care

Provides intermediary services to adopted people, birth relatives and descendants in connection with any adoption in England & Wales. Additionally provides access to adoption records and care records for those previously involved with the agency as children.
01675 434000

Joanna North Associates Ltd

Adoption Support for adoptive families including intermediary services, birth records counselling and therapeutic support.


Intermediary services for adopted adults and birth relatives including descendants of adopted adults.

Voluntary Adoption Agencies

Caritas Care

Independent adoption agency covering the whole of the North West including; Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and parts of Yorkshire, as well as parts of Scotland including the Dumfries area. Also offers tracing and birth records counselling service
01772 732313

Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster)

Specialises in post adoption support and also provides tracing and intermediary services.

CCS Adoption

Independent adoption agency in Bristol, working across the Adoption West region in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Swindon, Wiltshire and South Wales. Also offers intermediary services
0117 935 0005

Action for Children (formerly National Children’s Homes NCH)

Provides Adoption Services in London, The South West and the Midlands
0300 123 2112

Adoption Focus

Offers a range of services including training and support groups.
0121 779 0891

Adoption Matters

Large adoption service providing a range of support, including intermediary services.
0300 123 1066

Adoption UK

Charity providing support, community and advocacy
01295 752240


Adoption agency based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, offering an adoption placement service, specialist adoption therapy services, training and conferences.
01908 218251

Arc Adoption North East
0191 516 6466


Dedicated adoption support services helping others who are affected by adoption including birth families and adopted adults.
020 8552 1004

Birmingham Children’s Trust

0121 303 1888


Independent adoption agency working across greater London and the surrounding areas, as well as the East Midlands.

Diagrama Foundation

Independent, not-for-profit adoption agency finding families who are able to offer a permanent home for children in need of adoption across south London, Surrey, East and West Sussex, Berkshire, Kent and Hampshire.
0800 802 1910

Family Care Adoption Services

Provides adoption advice and support for adopted adults in Northern Ireland
028 9069 1133

Coram IAC

Coram IAC – Intercountry Adoption Centre – are now part of the Coram Group of children’s charities. Coram IAC provide a comprehensive service to people considering both domestic and intercountry adoption. The agency also caters to adopted adults, birth relatives and to professionals working in the intercountry field.
0208 447 4753

Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Adoption charity and family support provider of adoption services, therapeutic support and community projects across London and the south of England.

Slough Children’s Services Trust

Provides support for adopted adults
01753 477321


Armed forces charity – provides post adoption support
020 7463 9200

TACT fostering and adoption

Provides support for adopted adults
0330 123 2250

Together for Children

Provides support for adopted adults
0191 520 5560

Yorkshire Adoption Agency

Provides support for adopted adults
01302 638337

Voluntary Adoption Agencies in Scotland

Scottish Support Services Adoption

Provides adoption advice and support for adopted adults in Scotland
0131 553 5060

St Andrew’s Children Society

Provides adoption advice and support for adopted adults in Scotland
0131 454 3370

St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society

Provides adoption advice and support for adopted adults in Scotland
0141 332 8371

Voluntary Adoption Agencies in Wales

St David’s Children Society

Provides adoption services for adopted adults in Wales
02920 667007

Regional Adoption Agencies

Adopt East Midlands D2N2

Regional adoption agency covering Derbyshire, Derby, Nottinghamshire and Nottingham
0115 804 4567

Adopt London East

Covering Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking & Dagenham and Havering
01708 434 547

Adopt London North

Covering Enfield, Haringey, Barnet, Camden, Islington and Hackney
020 7527 4777

Adopt London South

Covering Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Sutton, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham
020 7525 1746

Adopt London West

Covering Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow
020 8825 5241

Adopt North East

Covering Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Gateshead
0191 643 5000

Adopt South

Covering Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight 3000 011

Adopt South West

Covering Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay
0345 155 1076

Adopt Tees Valley

Covering Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Stockton-On-Tees and Darlington
01642 526400

Adopt Thames Valley

Covering Oxfordshire, Swindon, West Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead
0800 731 0171

Adoption Central England (ACE)

Covering Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Coventry and Herefordshire

Adoption Connects

Covering Milton Keynes and Central Bedfordshire
0300 300 8090

Adoption Counts

Covering Salford, Trafford, Manchester, Stockport and Cheshire East

Adoption in Merseyside (AiM)

Covering Wirral, Sefton, Liverpool and Knowsley
0151 477 8700

Adoption Now

Covering Rochdale, Oldham, Tameside, Bury, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen
01204 336 094

Adoption West

Covering Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, North Somerset and Bath and NE Somerset
03303 550 333


Covering Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell Children’s Trust
01902 553 818

Ambitious for Adoption

Covering Harrow, Slough Children’s Services Trust, Bromley, Redbridge, the City of London, Waltham Forest and Hillingdon
020 7520 0383


Covering Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch
0300 123 9868

One Adoption North Yorkshire & Humber

Regional adoption agency covering North Yorkshire, York, East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull and North East Lincolnshire
0345 305 2576

One Adoption West Yorkshire

Regional adoption agency covering Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield
0113 378 3535

Together for Adoption

Regional adoption agency covering Cheshire West & Chester, Halton, Warrington, St Helens and Wigan
01942 487272

Other Support Available

Transnational and Transracial Adoption Group

Organisation hoping to facilitate networking and contact opportunities for adopted people whose racial and cultural heritage differs from their adoptive family.


CoramBAAF is an independent membership organisation for professionals, foster carers and adopters, and anyone else working with or looking after children in or from care, or adults who have been affected by adoption. It is a successor organisation to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).

CoramBAAF Locating Adoption Records Database

The database can be searched using information about a home (maternity, mother & baby, shelter etc), organisation or local authority involved in the birth or adoption, or a staff member who worked in one of these homes or organisations. The results show the most likely current holder of the adoption records and include full contact details so that further enquiries can be made.

Family Research


Paid members’ service for the UK, offering access to one billion searchable UK family history records. Part of the global network – which as access to 20 bullion searchable family history records.

British Library

Includes services for requesting electoral roles for previous years. Advance notice is required.

Cyndi’s List

Lists useful geological resources on the web.

Family Search

Free service run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Requires registration but you don’t need to be a member of the church to use the service.

Find My Past

Ancestry service featuring a range of research services, including DNA testing.


Free genealogical information for the whole of the UK.

National Records of Scotland

Official Records of the Scottish government. Includes information regarding family history and registrations of births, deaths, marriages etc.

Salvation Army Family Tracing Service

Agency providing support with searches for family. Not suitable for adopted people, but can be accessed by those who were in care.
020 7367 4747


Official Scottish Government site for searching government records and archives. Apply for copies of official certificates and to research family history, biography, local history and social history.

The National Archives

The UK government’s official archive, including access to history resources and information.

Tracing Services

Ariel Bruce

Private service offering tracing services for people affected by adoption, as well as intermediary services.


Charity based in Scotland supporting anyone with questions relating to adoption issues, including adopted adults, birth parents of adopted people, local authority workers, adoption agencies and other professionals. Also offers tracing services, intermedia

Born to be Found

Independent research company working on behalf of local authorities, adoption support agencies and the general public. Offers a tracing service.

DNA Detectives Facebook Group

Genetic genealogy group focused on using DNA to find biological family for adoptees, foundlings, donor-conceived individuals, unknown paternity and all other types of unknown parentage cases – recent and more distant.


Service offering family history research and tracing services.

Directory Services

Paid service allowing you to search for individuals.

BT Phonebook

Free directory service.

Community Groups

Adult Adoptee Movement

How To Be Adopted

The Dunbar Project


Adopted Feels


Born in June Raised In April

Loco Parentis podcast

The Adoption and Fostering podcast

Who Am I Really


Adoption reunion top tips

Anne Heffron

Dear Adoption

A blog giving voice to adoptees.

Foundlings – Babies without a name Facebook group

UK group aiming to increase awareness of foundlings, their plight for life and stimulate discussion on what can be done to help.

Mother & baby homes c1960s England

This website details findings from the author’s research, which explores the experiences of women who spent time in mother and baby homes in mid-20th century England.


15 Things Never To Say To An Adoptee

What Is The Primal Wound

By author Nancy Verrier.


Adoption, search and reunion: the long-term experience of adopted adults

BAAF, Howe, D and Feast, J with Coster, D, 2003, ISBN: 1903699533,

Coming Home To Self by Nancy Verrier

Nancy Verrier

Searching Questions: Identity Origins and Adoption

BAAF, Feast, J & Philpot, T, 2003, ISBN: 1903699479,

Searching, reunion and transracial adoption

pp.6-18, Adoption & Fostering 24(3, Autumn 2000, Kirton, D, Feast, J and Howe, D

The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search Reunion and Beyond.

New Harbinger Publications, Bailey, J and Giddens, L N, 2001, ISBN: 1572242280,

The adoption triangle revisited: a study of adoption, search and reunion experiences

BAAF, Triseliotis, J, Feast, J and Kyle, F, 2005, ISBN: 01903699711,

The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier

Nancy Verrier

The Role of Mother and Baby Homes in the Adoption of Children Born Outside Marriage in Twentieth-Century England and Wales

Family & Community History 11(1), May 2008, pp.45-59

Books – Adoption (overview)

A Child for Keeps: the history of adoption in England, 1918-45

Palgrave Macmillan, Keating, J, 2009, ISBN: 978-1349355556,

Adoption: Changing Families, Changing Times

Routledge, Douglas, A and Philpot, T, 2002, ISBN: 0415256852,

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self

Bantam Dell Pub Group, Brodzinskly, D, Schechter, M and Henig, R, 1992, ISBN: 0385414021,

Chosen: Living with Adoption

BAAF, Harris, P, 2012, ISBN: 978 1 907585 63 0,

Coming Home to Self: Healing the primal wound

BAAF, Verrier, N, 2010, ISBN: 9781905664818

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

Basic Books, Lifton, B & Lifton, J, 1994, ISBN: 0465008119

Preparing for Reunion: Experiences from the Adoption Circle (3rd edition)

The Children’s Society, Feast, J, Marwood, M, Seabrook, S & Webb, E, 2002, ISBN: 1899783091

Relatively Unknown: A Year in the Life of the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland.

Scotland Family Care, Clapton, G, 2003, ISBN: 0950811769

The Adoption Reunion Handbook

John Wiley and Sons Ltd, Trinder, L, Feast J and Howe, D, 2004, ISBN: 0470094222,

The Colours in Me: Writing and Poetry by Adopted Children and Young People

BAAF, Harris, P, 2008, ISBN: 978 1 905664 59 7,

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

Further details and ordering options can be found here
BAAF, Verrier, N, 2009, ISBN: 9781905664764

Books – Personal Stories

Family Wanted: Adoption Stories

Granta Books, Holloway, S, 2005, ISBN: 1862077533

The Birth Father’s Tale

BAAF, Ward, A, 2012, ISBN: 978 1 907585 41 8,

Books – Personal Stories (adopted adults)

A Good Likeness: A Personal Story of Adoption.

Abacus, Arnott, P, 2001, ISBN: 0349113289

All You Can Ever Know

Catapult, Chung, N, 2018, ISBN: 1936787970

An Affair with My Mother: A story of adoption, secrecy and love

Penguin, Palmer, C, 2017, ISBN: 024197173X

Blue-eyed Son: The Story of an Adoption

MacMillian, Campbell, N, 2004, ISBN: 978-0230768215

In Search of Belonging: Reflections of Transracially Adopted People

Can be found here
BAAF, Harris, P, 2006, ISBN: 1903699770

Mother Me: An Adopted Woman’s Journey to Motherhood

GemmaMedia, Phillips, Z H, 2008, ISBN: 1934848360

Nobody’s Child

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, Adie, K, 2005, ISBN: 0340838000

Swimming up the Sun: A Memoir of Adoption

Apippa Publishing Company, Burton, N J, 2008, ISBN: 978-0979899201

You Don’t Look Adopted

Independently Published, Heffron, A, 2016, ISBN: 1086423437

Books – Personal stories (adopted children & young people)

Adopted Children Speaking

Further details and ordering options can be found here
BAAF, Thomas, C and Beckford, V with Lowe, N and Murch, M, 1999, ISBN: 1873868782,

Books – Personal Stories

(birth mothers)

Half a million women: mothers who lose their children by adoption

Can be ordered from
Penguin, Howe, D, Sawbridge, P and Hinings, D, 1992, ISBN: 0140154159

Books – Research Study

Adoption Search and Reunion: The Long-term Experience of Adopted Adults

The Children’s Society, Howe, D & Feast, J, 2000, ISBN: 189978330X

Adversity, Adoption and Afterwards: A Mid-Life Follow-Up Study of Women Adopted from Hong Kong

BAAF, Feast J and Grant M, Rushton A and Simmonds J, with Sampeys C, 2013, ISBN: 9781907585647

The Adoption Triangle Revisited: A Study of Adoption, Search and Reunion Experience

BAAF, Triseliotis, J, Feast, J and Kyle, F, 2005, ISBN: 1903699711

The role of mother and baby homes in the adoption of children born outside marriage in Twentieth-Century England and Wales

May 2008, pp.45-59
Family & Community History 11(1), Clark, G, 2008

Books – Search and Reunion

Adoption Search and Reunion: The Long-term Experience of Adopted Adults

BAAF, Howe, D & Feast, J, 2004, ISBN: 978-1903699539

Ithaka: A Daughter’s Memories of Being Found

Delta Books, Saffian, S, 1999, ISBN: 03853345016

Love Child: A Memoir of Adoption, Reunion, Loss and Love

Vermilion, Elliot, S, 2005, ISBN: 0091901790

Searching questions: identity, origins and adoption

Can be found here
BAAF, Feast, J and Philpot, T, 2003, ISBN: 1903699479

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